Blurring Boundaries and Realizing Just Potential: How Diverse California Schools Enact Sustainability-in-Place

Victoria Derr, Red Glines, Cristan Molinelli-Ruberto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Green schools can reduce negative environmental impacts, promote positive human and ecological health and wellbeing, and promote learning and action competencies for local and global sustainability. This research sought to understand how sustainability practices take shape and unfold in historically excluded schools in California that had received sustainability awards. Using a multiple case study approach, this research highlights ways schools extended their educational practices into three domains of a sustainability-in-place model—community, compassion, and creativity—and also explores barriers to implementing these practices. Some teachers distinguished ideas of care and compassion for student wellbeing as distinct from the practice of sustainability, highlighting the persistence of mainstream, historical framing of sustainability systems. Research implications address opportunities to expand and strengthen green school research and practice.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)70
Number of pages91
JournalChildren, Youth, and Environments
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023


  • green schools
  • critical pedagogy
  • sustainability
  • social justice
  • California schools
  • historically excluded communities
  • environmental education

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